Beat Stress Now!
It's everywhere, and sometimes—oftentimes—it seems impossible to escape. Now, relax and take a deep breath: Here's how to manage stress in four key areas of your life.
Emotional & Spiritual Growth
We live in a selfish culture (see, e.g., Bernard Madoff), but women are conditioned to be selfless. All of that outward nurturing means that often women don't have time to tend to their own health, well-being, and growth. "I always tell women to remember what they say on the airlines: Put your own oxygen mask on before you put on your neighbor's," says Allen-Davis. "And we do the opposite as women—we take care of everybody else, and then there's little time for ourselves." That's a recipe for stress. "What we forget is that to be able to do what we want to do with our family and our job, we have to be a little selfish," says Coussons-Read. Here are three tips on how to manage the stress that comes from taking care of others and how to cultivate your own emotional and spiritual growth.
FIND YOUR PASSION
Pick something you love—jogging, cooking, dancing, painting, anything—and then just do it. "One person I know just found something like that in a knitting class, and that's fantastic," says Pieracci. "It's almost like a place of respite, a place of time to reflect on their life, where they don't have to be focused on other people. They can actually just be focused on themselves for that moment."
So often, women (and men) use the excuse of not having enough time to avoid doing something that might actually bring pleasure to them, and so it's important to give yourself permission to take that time for yourself, even if it's just 10 or 15 minutes a day. "Make dates with yourself," says Coussons-Read. "You need to treat yourself just as well as you treat other people, and we don't do that. A simple thing like making an appointment with yourself can be incredibly powerful—if you just stick to it."
Working toward something allows us to grow and brings pleasure into our lives. "I think that's so important for women, whether it's a physical goal like running a marathon, or taking a class to learn something new," says Pieracci. "Something tangible that you're working on, on a pretty regular basis, and you can see progress. That relates a lot to spiritual and emotional growth."